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5 Mistakes Older Job Hunters Should Avoid

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By Betty Wang, JD on October 23, 2013 12:31 PM

Older job hunters -- we all know it's a tough market out there. Even for those who aren't rookies or recent graduates, there are still certain mistakes that should be avoided, as Forbes points out.

The truth is that despite having more experience than younger job seekers, some crucial aspects of job hunting still hold true for older candidates.

Here are five specific types of mistakes that older job hunters in particular should avoid:

  1. Not paying attention to your resume. Remember, regardless of your accolades, nothing matters more than the presentation and approach you take into conveying it in a proper resume. Whether you are 21 or 61, employers will often use the same criteria when it comes to red flags on a resume.
  2. Having poor interview skills. Again, your experience can't just speak for itself. The face-to-face interview, even if it's conducted via Skype, could very well be the first step in easing your foot into the door. In order to convey the same attitude as other candidates decades younger than you, try to convey enthusiasm, confidence, and a certain level of professionalism.
  3. Not looking prepared. Make sure that you look sharp and well put-together. You can't use the excuse of not having the metabolism of a younger person or a difference in attitude toward grooming. The fact is, while age discrimination is illegal, an employer's distaste for your sloppiness or appearance, as long as it's not based on age or race, can potentially be a legitimate reason for turning you down.
  4. Being absent from social media. Even if minimal, having a social media presence is crucial these days. Employers may take your absence on social media as a sign that you're behind the times. If you're new to this, consider a basic professional LinkedIn account -- according to Forbes, a recent study found that 77 percent of employers are using social networks to recruit.
  5. Not being open to new prospects. Having the right, open-minded attitude is key, regardless of age. Especially in this tight job market, you may want to be more open to possibilities outside the initial scope of your search. For example, if a company is looking for an independent contractor as opposed to an employee, don't scoff; rather, look at this as a new opportunity.

For more tips on landing your next job, check out FindLaw's free Guide to Interviewing. Good luck out there!

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